I'm realizing there is no substituting human contact. Since January 3rd, I've been substitute teaching at Vantage Career Center as a High School Science Teacher. Not only could we use the extra money but it was a good way to connect with people. I've learned a lot about this community through the conversations I've had with students. More information than I could have gotten from Internet research.
But I found something else out too. When I do Internet research, it is easy to get mad, enraged or frustrated with the area. I also got very discouraged because I was seeing God do amazing things elsewhere. I was subconsciously hoping to substitute my context with another in hopes to get the same "awesome" events.
While subbing though, my heart has changed. Hearing stories, seeing things first hand and being challenged with the sins of people have melted my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh. Is it easy? No. Do I feel drained most days? Yes. I now feel again. Those stats are now faces with stories.
God made us for flesh and blood interaction. The Internet is not a substitute for community. Jesus became flesh and blood to be our high priest to interact with us. He could have just researched us from heaven but no. He came down to "tabernacle" among us. Why can't I do the same?